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vegan coffee

Being fit does not have to be as hard as people make it sound. Making a few changes can change how athletic or fit you are.







Hey, this blog page is geared toward my personal side- making a better self through training and food. I share recipes that I love and training of the mind with meditation & body with exercise and yoga.

You can contact us, otherwise I’ll be

        enjoying the sunshine in my garden while planning my next hike.

— Dropkick

Which Tofu to Buy for higher protein diets & How to use it

For high protein cubes or slices:

As with other things, it is all about how firm it is.

A meal using super firm will give you 15-40 grams fairly easily. Sprouted tofu is better for digesting if you can find it.

Use super firm in a plastic bag not the white tray. You can buy this at any health food store and some markets. No pressing the water out needed. This tofu is mega firm. Water is low-so protein is high

2nd Option: Extra firm in the tray. Not quite as firm. More water-so protein is about 1/3 less. Squeezing the tofu needed (keep reading). This works in a pinch in an understocked store, but why pay for water instead of more tofu protein?

For scrambled Tofu or eggless Salad:

You need something more like the firmness of scrambled eggs to make the tofu version. Buy extra firm in the white tray. You will need to squeeze out much of the water with your hands or a paper towel/cheesecloth. Pressing it with a spatula when you heat it will cook out more water- this is why I never take time to let it drain before cooking.

For pudding or cheesecake:

Why are you eating pudding? It better be a rare treat. Use the firm tofu. Anything softer is useless and gross.

Elderberry tincture Kentucky style

elderberry bourbon tincture

Do not like sugar syrups?

Make a tincture from bourbon. A dropperful is a dose so no worries of getting intoxicated.

Alcohol actually pulls out more of the good stuff than hot water tea does.

Takes only 30 secs of work

You will have years worth of tincture for under $10. 


In a mason jar mix:

5 parts bourbon (or other drinking alcohol at least 80 proof)

1 part dried elderberries

Put on lid. DONE in under 30 seconds. Well, kind of. You must wait 4-6 weeks. Give a shake daily. Strain through fine mesh when the time is up. 

I use bourbon because of my roots + American made. You can use cheap vodka or any other alcohol. Alcohol quality and taste do not matter so much because the tincture will be as black as ink before it is done infusing. You may notice some change in flavor between types of alcohol. For herbs with shorter brews, I really notice a difference. Consult a herbal website or herbalist on how many drops should be taken for the immune system. Typically, it is a couple droppers full or 1/2 tsp.

Drink responsibly- getting wasted on tincture isn’t good for our training. For those with an alcohol-free lifestyle like me: you will not notice anything from this as it is about 1/20th a shot. Some people like taking a teaspoonful in club soda or juice for a very low alcohol adult beverage that is good for you. Do not try boiling out the alcohol to make it alcohol-free. That does not work. Buy a store-bought glycerin tincture for that version.

*** I am not herbalist. You may want to search around for other ways of making it. This is how I learned from an herbalist.

Vegan Elderberry Syrup for Flu Season- Great on pancakes!

vegan elderberry syrupWhen did not covering your mouth when coughing become okay? A warm yoga class turns into a Petri dish with the heat, deep breathing, and flu germs in a closet sized room. There’s probably less chance of catching something on Tinder than in yoga. I finally admitted that I know longer have an impenetrable immune system. Backpacking India for months and Celiac’s will do that. I found out that elderberry is the best thing for the immune system that can also be taken daily. Echinacea can cause harm to the liver after 2 weeks. Uh oh.

Since I am too frugal to buy $10 tinctures or syrup every month, I looked up various ways to make both from the dried berry… costing nearly nothing.

Finding vegan elderberry syrup recipes was pretty much impossible. They all use honey. Substituting with agave is easy but more expensive than using sugar.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe:

First off here is a warning: do not eat any of those raw berries because they are mildly toxic. They must be cooked. You will not die but you may want to.

2 cups water

1/2 cup dried elderberry

1 cup sugar, non-Florida grown (preferably organic- no pesticides)

2-3 lemon wedges

Put water, berries, sugar in a pot (Not aluminum. I used stainless steel.) Bring to near a boil. Then simmer another 20-30 minutes. It should be cooked down about halfway. Strain through a mesh strainer or large cheesecloth into your preferred storage jar. Add lemon juice. DONE. Refrigerate after it cools.

Good for 90 days. You can heat this again if not thick enough. Sometimes I like to reheat mine for pancakes toppings.

Uses: Just spoon 1 tsp+ daily for immune system, use as syrup on food, add to sparkling water, add to kombucha. If you are sick then take 1 tsp every 2-3 hours.

Do not like sugar syrups? Make a tincture. That recipe is up next postBuy your elderberries at a local health food store or Amazon. They also grow in every US state… if you feel confident in knowing what you are picking- trimming.  

Cherokee Corn Pone – skillet corn bread

This is a Native American staple depending on the tribe. I grew up having them about 360 days per year. It is eaten on the side like cornbread or bread. They are a perfect match with pinto beans. I like to get creative and use mine for refried bean sandwiches or as breakfast pancakes. I eat these more often after being gluten-free. Plus, I am too cheap to buy expensive gf bread that is like cardboard anyway.

corn pone recipe, vegan and gluten free

(Not perfectly round this batch. Oh well.)


1 cup Corn meal, fine-milled** Yellow is best

3/4 cup Warm water

1 tsp Sea salt

Mix ingredients in a large mixing cup or bowl. Stir. Heat your skillet on medium. Sit the mix 10 minutes if possible. This allows for the corn to rehydrate and not break with making into patties. You may want to add another spoonful of water if it is crumbly and dry. The batter with will be thick enough to pat out, but you do want some extra moisture. Put large spoonfuls in the skillet and pat with spoon to flatten into a round shape. It will be twice as thick as pancakes. Cook about 3 minutes on each side. It is hard to overcook them. 


Skillet- I use traditional cast iron. That allows me to not add oil. I flip with metal spatula, so that it does not break apart sticking to the cast iron. If you use a non-stick pan then you will want to add a spoon of oil for crispiness. Cook longer if you use no oil. My family members cook theirs in an inch of oil. There is no way in hell I will do that.

**I used Bob’s Mill Masa yellow corn meal. Bob’s is non-GMO even though the label does not say. Do not use polenta or grits or any corn meal that has large bits. I order a box to save money and because it is hard to find non-GMO in some stores. Feel free to use a cheap grocery brand. Some will taste like bleach or bland. It is the difference of it having taste great and it just being edible.

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From my About Me page: Contract web design based in San Francisco-Mountain View & Orlando.

Specialize in working with businesses of: yoga, meditation, spa, retreat centers, and fitness + Membership sites.

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Clear communication always

About Me

I am a personal trainer and yoga teacher. I have been gluten-free (Celiac) since 2008 and vegan since 2000. CPT, RYT & untrained chef. I have a love of good knives, martial arts, meditation, fitness, herbal remedies, and reading books. I am a big animal lover with a retired Belgian Malinois and cats.